- SAINTS ended the regular season in fifth place aft
SAINTS ended the regular season in fifth place after a comfortable 38-12 win over at Hull FC.Adam Swift led the way with a brace as Nathan Brown’s side set up a mouth-watering home match with Hull KR in the Playoffs.Alter a tame opening 25 minutes Saints broke the deadlock and never looked back.Jon Wilkin fired them ahead before Adam Swift’s superb run set up Josh Jones.Swift then tagged one of his own and Willie Manu stole the ball ‘one on one’ in the final seconds to end a brilliant opening 40.Richard Whiting got the second half underway with a try as Saints hoofed their restart out on the full.But Francis Meli ensured parity when he stretched over from close range and Adam Swift crossed for his second after fine work from Jonny Lomax.Danny Tickle replied but Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s late score underlined their dominance.Brown spoke during the week about Saints starting better and they did just that.Making only a couple of changes from the side that lost to Warrington – Stuart Howarth and Anthony Walker both stepping down for James Roby and Paul Clough – they completed their sets and put Hull on the back foot.Even though, the home side looked most likely to score in those early stages but knocked on with the line at their mercy.Saints were guilty of spurning chances too.But on 20 minutes after defending a penalty and a drop out they forged ahead with Jon Wilkin going over.It was a classic counterattack after they repelled borders – Wilkin kicking through, Meli picking it up off his bootlaces and getting his pass away.Tom Briscoe almost got the home side level moments later as his mazy run saw him held up just short.But Saints weathered the storm and scored on their next set.A high ball was collected by Adam Swift and he went 80 yards, shaking off tackles, sidestepping the defence and producing one big fend off too.He was hauled down agonisingly close to the line, but the ball went right and Jones did the rest.Hull tried to respond but they inadvertently gave Saints more points. A pass went astray on halfway, Swift scooped it up and went 50 yards.Lomax with the simple conversion from under the sticks.It then got better. Right on the hooter Saints camped on Hull’s line but fail to get through.But the home side pushed it with around five seconds to go and Willie Manu stole it one on one to increase the advantage.Lomax with the conversion to leave his side 22-0 up at half time – and the boos ringing out around the KC Stadium.Saints started the second half poorly when they kicked out on the full and Hull took full advantage of the resultant penalty. They drove it close and then found Richard Whiting in space.Danny Tickle converted and then the home side won the ball back as Saints knocked on twice in succession.The visitors’ scrambling defence did the trick though and they breathed a sigh of relief – building on that work and firing themselves into Hull territory with a forty:twenty from Jordan Turner.And it worked as seconds later Roby moved it left and Meli stretched over.Saints defended more ‘multi-packs’ of sets thanks to penalties and then scored once more.Wilkin chipped ahead, Lomax caught it and then sent out a fine kick to the corner where Swift collected, stepped and scored.Lomax converted his fourth ‘extra two’ but Danny Tickle pulled one back for Hull.Yet, it was always going to be Saints night and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook crossed at the death.Match Summary:Hull FC: Tries: Whiting, TickleGoals: Tickle (2 from 2)Saints: Tries: Wilkin, Jones, Swift (2), Manu, Meli, McCarthy-ScarsbrookGoals: Lomax (4 from 6), Turner (1 from 1)Penalties:Hull FC: 11Saints: 4HT: 22-0FT: 38-12REF: James ChildATT: 11750Teams:Hull FC:29. Jamie Shaul; 2. Jason Crookes, 16. Richard Horne, 4. Kirk Yeaman, 5. Tom Briscoe; 6. Daniel Holdsworth, 34. Jacob Miller; 17. Liam Watts, 9. Danny Houghton, 22. Josh Bowden, 13. Joe Westerman, 12. Danny Tickle, 20. Paul Johnson.Subs: 14. Richard Whiting, 19. Jay Pitts, 21. Chris Green, 33. Aaron Heremaia.Saints:7. Jonny Lomax; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Francis Meli, 26. Adam Swift; 12. Jon Wilkin, 6. Lance Hohaia; 11. Tony Puletua, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 19. Josh Jones, 13. Willie Manu, 4. Sia Soliola.Subs: 1. Paul Wellens, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 16. Paul Clough, 25. Alex Walmsley.